Will Jewish voters abandon Obama in 2012?

The results displayed in this table show that in addition to their overwhelming identification with the Democratic Party, Jewish voters were much more likely than other white voters to describe themselves as liberal, to prefer higher government spending and expanded services to reduced government spending and fewer services and, especially, to support abortion rights. Fully 82% of Jewish voters favored abortion rights during these years compared with only 42% of other white voters. So even if some Jewish voters were to prefer a Republican candidate’s positions on Israel to a Democratic candidate’s position, that alone might not produce a large number of votes for the Republican.

Over the past 40 years, Democratic identification has declined among traditionally Democratic groups such as white southerners and Catholics as more conservative members of these groups have shifted their loyalty to the Republican Party. Among Jews, however, there has been little evidence of such a shift because those with conservative views made up a small minority of all Jewish voters.

The continued liberalism of Jewish voters on domestic policy issues, and especially on social issues such as abortion, remains a major obstacle to Republican inroads. In fact, the rightward drift of the GOP in recent years has probably made any such shift of Jewish voters into the Republican camp even less likely.